Now that the 4th has passed, I know Summer is just biding its time. All the days pass with unsettling rapidity, but none so fast to me as these between the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Before I turn around, September will be here. And let's face it, no matter what the calendar says, September was never really Summer.
The big news around these parts this week has been all about Nephew Bone. Last Friday, with little warning but much fanfare, he began walking upright. At the age of 10 months and 13 days, Nephew Bone took his first steps. Now he bounds around for five, eight, ten steps at a time with a perpetual smile on his face like he just discovered bubble wrap. The sheer and utter joy he gets out of life is a continual lesson for me.
My 4th of July was pretty low-key. I mean, I didn't climb any national monuments to hang a protest banner if that's what you're after. I've actually never even painted anything on a water tower. It's one of the great shames of my life.
I spent the entire day in a tiny town where I had no cell phone service. None. Not even on a hill. It was the cell phone equivalent of absolute zero.
At first, I was a little perturbed that I wasn't going to be able to check and see how my fantasy baseball team was faring. But in the end it wound up being kinda nice. To be completely unconnected and unreachable for an entire day. What a novel concept. I could foresee this becoming a regular thing... again.
We spent the better part of Saturday's daylight hours canoeing. Nine miles. Five hours. Surprised? Well, you don't get arms like these by lifting the remote.
It was actually my first time canoeing. I think I did OK. I mean there were a couple of times when we were facing the wrong way. I seem to recall some other canoers riding by and laughing. Then at one point, we had to limbo under a tree that had fallen across the river and for a brief instant there I wondered if the Bone name would indeed live on. But overall, it was fun and I didn't injure anyone, at least not to the point that it required medical attention, so I deem it a qualified success.
Saturday night, I enjoyed a couple of corn dogs at the local park while taking in a softball game between the hometown American Legion team and what I took to be a team of alumni--a slightly-to-moderately overweight bunch calling themselves The Legends. After the game, there were fireworks. Literally, not figuratively.
It was good to spend the 4th of July in Small Town, USA. Good to see flags flying in yards and a few houses even decorated with red, white, and blue banners. I grew up in a town not a whole lot bigger than that. And I spent many of those days wondering what I was missing in some big city in some faraway place. Saturday night, I didn't feel like I was missing a thing.
"You could lie on a riverbank. Or paint your name on a water tank. Miscount all the beers you drank, back where I come from..."